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Dead Island 2 exhumed from the grave by LittleBigPlanet 3 dev

British developer Sumo Digital has been handed the development reins on Dead Island 2, Koch Media has announced.

The zombie-fueled action-RPG was originally in the hands of Yager, the studio previously responsible for Spec Ops: The Line. However, publisher Deep Silver opted to terminate its partnership with the developer as it didn’t want to make any compromises within the franchise.

"Sumo showed so much understanding of the brand, had creative ideas and an excellent, vision that was aligned with our own,” Koch Media CEO Dr Klemens Kundratitz revealed to MCV.

“It just made perfect sense for us to move the project to them. We will reveal more details at a later stage, but for now I’d like to say that we are obviously super excited about the progress that we are making with them.”

Sumo Digital is no stranger to the triple-A software landscape, having worked on numerous franchises including LittleBigPlanet, Forza and Disney Infinity.

“It’s an honour to be charged with the evolution of such an important franchise in Deep Silver’s catalogue,” commented Paul Porter, Sumo Digital’s COO. “We’re looking forward to exceeding fan expectation with an ambitious design that we’re confident will take bone-crunching, visceral, zombie action to a whole new level.”

Dead Island 2 was originally announced during Sony’s E3 2014 press conference and had been pencilled in for a 2015 release. A new date has yet to be revealed, although with Sumo Digital now at the helm the project has only just started getting back on track after a lengthy hiatus.

Still, fans always have Dead Island Definitive Collection to keep them busy on PS4, which features high-definition remasters of Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide alongside a brand new retro-fused brawler, Dead Island Retro Rampage. The collection hits stores in May 2016.